The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Fifteen years ago, we accidentally fell into the Vacation Rental business in order to supplement our income so we could afford to keep our house. Little did we know, it was a life-altering decision that has brought us financial stability and helps support our small town's tourism economy on which our community depends. We operate our business with utmost attention to not adversely affect our neighbors. We offer a restorative boutique travel experience that our guests highly value. And we are a conduit for bringing incredibly wonderful people from all over the world to our community to spend their money and time. The economic impact of the VR industry is impressive. For example a colleague ran the numbers of his small company that manages vacation rentals and airbnbs in Washington State. His 33 properties will host roughly 8,750 people in 2015 who will spend more than $25 Million in Seattle while they stay with them. Vacation rentals and home sharing are economic engines that drive local economies and offer middle class people a way to survive. They are also a cultural engine--an informal person to person ambassador program-- that fosters human connection and brings diversity and creative energy into our lives. Please do all you can to support the emerging sharing economy for the long term benefit for all of us.